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COP28 decision to “transition away” from fossil fuels is hailed as milestone but loopholes are decried

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 13 December 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2941
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

A new deal has been agreed at the COP28 climate conference calling on countries to “transition away” from using fossil fuels in energy systems, but it falls short of a specific commitment to phase out the burning of coal, oil, and gas that many had hoped for.1

For the first time in 30 years of COP meetings the final statement specifically signals that countries should move away from fossil fuels and acknowledges that this is necessary to reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. However, many governments, climate action groups, and scientists are unhappy that the wording is not stronger and that the statement “contains a litany of loopholes.”

The consensus statement, agreed by nearly 200 countries at the conference in Dubai on 13 December, calls on countries to contribute to global efforts to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems “in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science.”

There is also a specific target, signed by 132 countries, …

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